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Novartis halts clinical trial

Clinical trial program for investigational cancer treatment cancelled to reallocate funds to more pr

Novartis has discontinued the clinical trial program for the investigational cancer treatment ASA404 (vadimezan) and reallocated the resources to other compounds in the oncology pipeline.

ASA404 is a tumor-vascular disrupting agent (tumor-VDA).

Novartis signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Antisoma for the worldwide rights to ASA404 in April 2007.

In March 2010, ASA404 also failed to meet the primary endpoint in the ATTRACT-1 trial, which evaluated ASA404 in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin as first-line treatment for advanced (stage IIIb/IV) NSCLC of squamous or nonsquamous histology.

Novartis made the decision after interim results from a Phase III trial showed that ASA404 would not likely meet the primary endpoint of significantly extending overall survival when used in combination with chemotherapy for the second-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

ASA404 Phase III study, called ATTRACT-2 (Antivascular Targeted Therapy: Researching ASA404 in Cancer Treatment), included patients with advanced (stage IIIb/IV) NSCLC of squamous or nonsquamous histology who experienced disease progression on or following an initial chemotherapy regimen.

Novartis said that the trial has been stopped early based on a recommendation from an independent data monitoring committee.